Munich Aug 29, 2017

Servus in BAYern, welcome to the German BAY area!

When old hands reveal their secrets, it’s usually extremely interesting. Electronic Arts started in 1982. Today, EA Games is a worldwide operating producer and publisher of computer and video games and holds a 25 percent share of the market in North America and Europe. One of the co-founders was Jeff Burton, who is something of a start-up guru in the meantime, and who I had the pleasure of getting to know during a panel discussion recently.

Media market launch – yesterday and today

Back then it provided insight into the beginnings of electronic arts. The main marketing channel was print at that time. Just two ads were booked to launch the company, one in a special interest magazine to reach the nerds and one in a publication with a wider reach to promote and publicise the new software firm in the first place.
If the company were to launch onto the market today, then the chosen tools would certainly be very different. Digital transformation is continuing apace and the possible marketing channels have multiplied with it. 

In a recently published study titled Digital Reputation Insight Reputation Insight, 82 percent of those surveyed stated that the Internet plays an extremely important part in developing their brand image. In the same vein, it is emerging that many managers overestimate the control over their own brand online and rarely use a technology to check the comments in social media channels. For the study, managers were asked to share their experiences and assessments in relation to brand reputation for one whole month. Incidentally, the analysis was carried out by SentiOne. The company must have been quite happy with the results as the presentation of the study was at the same time the kick-off for its launch onto the German market in the end.

Online media monitoring: Social listening

SentiOne originally comes from Poland. The social listening tool allows companies and their agencies to monitor, analyse and respond to customer communication in more than 25 languages.

The beginnings of SentiOne date back to 2011 when Bartosz Baziński and Michał Brzezicki were poring over their thesis at the technical university in Gdansk and developed an algorithm that was to identify the basic mood of posts or tweets and categorise them into “positive”, “negative” and “neutral”. The idea of starting their own firm was born when they both recognised the potential and found a third colleague in Kamil Bargiel who dealt more with the sales and marketing. What sets the company apart from its competitors today is that this social media monitoring works for more than 25 languages in the meantime. Last year the company was able to convince new investors with Venture TFI and the Trigon TFI Group and generate additional funds amounting to USD 3.5 million, which was mainly to further the internationalisation of the company and fortunately enrich Bavaria with a new foreign office too.

Via Berlin to Munich


SentiOne’s path confirms what can also be read more and more frequently in the press recently (“Das Handelsblatt” dedicated an entire weekend editorial supplement to “Planet Munich”, which was given the title the German “Bay-Area” as a result of its innovation): anyone who wants to do business or drive innovation forward, has no option but to go to South Germany.

SentiOne came to Munich through the ABC Venture Gate accelerator’s programme, which originally comes from Slovenia. Besides modern offices, ABC Venture Gate also offers access to a network of leading industry partners such as IBM, BMW, Cisco and Microsoft as well as international coaching opportunities, among other things. The SentiOne team, which now consists of 4 employees, recently moved into its own office. Renting temporarily first of all at an agency in the Parkstadt Schwabing district and the next step being its own premises once the final size of the team is definite.

The presentation of the aforementioned Digital Reputation Insight study and panel discussion afterwards, which I was also allowed to take part in, also took place at ABC Venture Gate. Together with Thomas P. Offner (Senior Manager/ Authorised Signatory at PwC), Jeff Burton (Co-Founder of EA Games), Luka Planinc (Managing Director ABC Venture Gates) and Kamil Bargiel (CEO of SentiOne) we discussed digital transformation and digital reputation.


Kamil Bargiel (CEO of SentiOne), Luka Planinc (Managing Director ABC Venture Gates), my humble self, Thomas P. Offner (Senior Manager/ Authorised Signatory at PwC) and Jeff Burton (Co-Founder of EA Games)


During our lively discussion we also got round to talking about why Silicon Valley produced so many start-ups. Encouraged by the aforementioned article in the “Handelsblatt”, which gave Bavaria the title of the German “Bay-Area”, I asked Jeff Burton what made Bavaria the start-up location in his view. The first thing he talked about was the extremely well qualified minds and particularly highlighted graduates from the Center for Digital Technology and Management (CDTM). The joint institution of the two universities in Munich, the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (LMU) and the Technische Universität München (TUM), offers the add-on Technology Management study programme as part of the Elite Network of Bavaria. It also promises start-ups here the greatest opportunity for the future as a result of its economic power.

And I have to say just one more thing: When old hands reveal their secrets, it’s usually extremely interesting. As a native Bavarian, I couldn’t have summed it up better myself!

PS: Anyone who wants to see how the social listening tool monitors social media first of all can do so with the upcoming Bundestag election. In its blog, SentiOne informs you about what the Internet is saying about the upcoming 2017 Bundestag election every week.


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